Wednesday, November 17, 2010

My New Year's Resolution...Early!

I'm not a big resolution maker. Half the time, I don't keep them, but sometimes you just need a recharge, and I definitely need one with blogging again. I love writing more than just about anything, but I have simply (yet chaotically) allowed life to take over. Time to take back what I enjoy doing...writing about my family, my life in ministry, sharing recipes and photos of our life.
So, there's no time like the present...

As I look back over the last few years of our life, I've heard myself say, "My heart is so full" so many times. I'm beyond grateful for how God has allowed us to be used and see lives impacted. We have such a great platform in serving LifeSong Church, but it is learning to live and love like Him everyday that excites me the most. It's where life, even in the mundane, not so busy days, is full because His love has become more real to me each day. Life has been full for us, but the moments we have experienced have been as though time has stood still and given us a view of great appreciation.

In a nutshell, life with the Hickman's is full of a whole lot of school, where the girls are doing so well. Mommy has time to herself, even, as the youngest little Hickman is off to preschool. There's a lot of running around, working and playing going on!
We are excited to see our church, LifeSong, experience a great deal of growth over the last year. We have just broken ground for a new building that we pray will continue to be used to greatly impact our community.
We look forward to catching up with you over the holidays, whether it be face to face, virtually or by phone call. Look for us to catch up with you here at our blog, or on Twitter (@AmyCHickman and JeffWHickman)or Facebook.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

I Pretty Much Looked the Other Way

**(I shared this post in our monthly Pastor's Wives' Newsletter. I think it's something we all face, so I wanted to share here, too.)

I began my day with a great deal of excitement. School was starting and I was gaining some freedom...some ME time! I still had one child at home, but my day was looking pretty good irregardless. I had plans for pedicures with my girlfriend and a nice lunch later. My day was completely planned out...just the way I like it! For the most part of the morning and early afternoon, I stuck to my plans. I had well-groomed toes with a nice Burgandy polish, and later enjoyed a healthy lunch, and wonderful conversation with my friend. All of it proved to be medicine to my soul...until I left the restaurant and headed home.

As I left the restaurant, I waited in a line of about six cars, where I was about 5th in line. I looked around and noticed a woman about three cars up standing in the grass holding a sign. I could only make out the word


Immediately, my "Yeah, I bet you are" attitude took over - the one where I got taken for a fool more times than I can count when I lived in Venezuela. I mean, we live in the land of opportunity in America and I have never quite been able to rationalize homelessness in this country. I really shut down my heart to the possibility that this could be legitimate. As I inched closer, a different picture took shape. In seconds my world changed. I began to pass by to turn at the stoplight at which I had been waiting, taking me face to face with a woman holding the sign, red-faced, with tears streaming uncontrollably down her face. The sign could have, instead, read


My heart broke into. I began to cry and ask God what I should do. I had to get to a gas station. I was on empty and had to make it before I ran out. I reached the gas station beside a grocery store and began to ask God if I should go in and buy groceries for this woman. I rationalized my way out of it, though. "How would she get the home?" "Where did she live?" "How did she get to where she stood by the road?" I filled up my car and headed home...leaving a woman by the road without a solution...without relief. All day, her face haunted me. All I could see were her eyes, full of tears, empty of hope. I went though my day, only to wake up the next morning knowing I had to find that lady.

I got two bags of clothes together, put them by the door to load in my car, only to leave them when I went out to run errands...MY agenda only on my mind. And now, the days have gone by and here I sit writing a story with an unhappy ending. I never found the lady.

I never again tried!

I've asked myself a thousand times why I didn't reach out to her. My past would say it was just fear, but I wasn't scared to turn around and go back. I really just didn't have the follow-through. I knew God spoke clearly to go, but I didn't have faith enough to turn around and see where His leading took me. I just didn't have the full picture!

Often times, we don't have the full picture of what it's like to walk the Jesus Way. It calls us to step out on faith. Fear may not be present in our lack of obedience, but our lack of faith to see it to an end may be. Jesus' Way calls us to step out on faith, to take an otherwise stereotypical picture of homelessness in this country and see the individual...see the pain behind the sign.

What my experience has done for me is remind me that each day God has called me to take up my cross and follow Him...follow him out of a planned out day...follow Him to turn my car around and serve...follow Him into danger.

How are you, everyday, walking the Jesus Way? Are you ready to see where His way will take you? Will you step out in faith?

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

I Like to Go to School

The title is Quinn's words EXACTLY. She tells me over and over how much she likes to go to school. I'm finally, after 12 years of being home with my girls, enjoying a little alone time. Tuesday - Thursday I have three and 1/2 hrs a day to myself. I've been staying busy working out tons, cleaning lots and volunteering at Jeff's office and at the other girls' schools. I miss my girls, but I would be lying if I said I didn't love this time to pursue some other interests. I'm always ready, though, to pick this cutie up from school everyday...

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Missing Daddy

When Daddy is away, we miss him like crazy! This week the girls worked on their special sign to welcome him home from his trip to Haiti, where he was gone for 8 days!!!

Friday, July 16, 2010

My Best Friend's Wedding

I am taking part in Kelly's Korner Show Us Your Life posts today w/ very optimistic expectations (read the title if you don't believe me). Today, we are linking up to show off our amazing single friends in hopes that there's a match made in heaven...or here, in blogland! ;)My very dear friend, Amy, is one of the kindest, truest souls I've ever known. I met Amy when we attended boarding school in Venezuela, where my parents were missionaries. Amy traveled to school from Colombia, where her parents were missionaries. From the moment I met her, we hit it off due to her "never meet a stranger" attitude and her infectious laughter! She is truly a person that lives each day to the fullest, and she does it all with a smile!
She loves the Lord with all of her heart, and seeks to follow Him wherever He would have her be. She currently resides in Texas, where she attends seminary, and works full time as a Labor and Delivery nurse. She LOVES her job of bringing new life into the world. She loves kids and all of her nieces and nephews can attest to the fact that Aunt Amy is the coolest!Amy also loves to travel, spends a lot of time outdoors camping and in her new kayak and loves hanging out with her friends as much as possible. She is very close to her family. Amy is very loyal, confident and always has time to listen. She is 37 years old, and would make any man an AMAZING wife! I look forward to the day that God answers her prayer and sends her someone to love her as she deserves! How much fun we're gonna have at her wedding! One thing is for sure...there will be a lot of smiles and laughter!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010


I love that God has blessed me with so many wonderful friends from all over the world. In my day to day life, I'm learning that God has given me a safe haven to lean on and trust in. It has been a hard journey to find that, and I'm so thankful for the peace I've found in having people to trust and who genuinely love me. That desire to have that love and investment in my life was most definitely born out of an amazing background of growing up in a boarding school, where the girls you lived with in the dorm became your sisters and your best friends. I'm so blessed that now, 20 and 25 years later, we still can't go very long without seeing one another. Two years ago we reunited in Dallas. This year, we reunited in Phoenix, Arizona, where my best friend, Lana, lives.We had such a good time spending our days hitting every great restaurant in the city (well, maybe not 'every', but my waistline is saying A LOT of them!), watching movies and looking at old pictures from high school (there was a whole lot of bad hair going on in those pics) and listening to a ton of 80's/90's music so we could relive the "good 'ole days"! I've known Lana since we met in Costa Rica, where our parents were in language school. We both bonded over how much resentment we had for our parents making us move to another country!! ;) I've known Camille since our parents served in Caracas, Venezuela together, and I've known Amy since my first visit to our boarding school, Christiansen Academy. She was the first person I met there, and later ended up being a roommate there numerous semesters. Lastly, my sister, Missy, and I shared most of our friends growing up, so of course she joined me for the trip!
Here's some great highlights of our time together....
Our day trip to Sedona

A Chapel in Sedona

Lana and Amy

Camille and Missy

Missy and Me

All of us

Lana and me
Amy and Amy!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Favorite Children's Book

Show Us Your Life with Kelly's Korner

Today I'm participating in Kelly's Korner "Show Me Your Life" posts because I cannot ever pass up an opportunity to brag on my cousin, the author. If you are looking for an AMAZING children's book that your kids will grow up and say, "One of my most special times was when you read...", then you want to get "Me With You." It's about the relationship a grandparent has with their grandchild, but it can translate to any special relationship we have in our lives. The illustrations are timeless and heartwarming. Check out this great trailer of when her book came out last year, and then RUN to your local Barnes and Noble and get one!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Birthday Hoopla!

I hesitate to blog at all anymore! I've stunk my blog up here lately, but we've had two very specials birthdays at our house that need to be written about! The photos of said birthdays may be few, but let's try to paint a pretty picture of the ones celebrated!!
We have a 12 year old in the HOUSE!!!(McKenna is pictured in the middle)
I think that we are actually still celebrating McKenna's birthday. It seems to have been a few weeks long celebration from breaking her out of school early the weekend of her birthday to taking off to Columbia for "The Rock and Worship Roadshow" on the actual day of her birthday.

McKenna is our firstborn. We first learned to be parents through her, and she teaches us more how to do that everyday. There are so many words that describe McKenna, but here are a few...

M - marvelous C - Child of God (we're so thankful she calls God her Father!)
K - kindhearted...always thinks of others
E - everyone's friend
N - non-stop worker...amazing work ethic
N - nice, courteous, gracious
A -An AMAZING daughter
McKenna is, quite simply, a blessing to know. She shows me everyday that while she is my child, she is also my friend. I love talking to her and learning from her. She genuinely loves others and you will not find a more servant-hearted person. Our precious firstborn is growing into a beautiful young woman. Each year with you, McKenna, is a gift to us. If you know McKenna, you LOVE her!
The latest birthday in the house was for Jeff! He's 38 years young! We've had lots of fun celebrating as a family and with friends. So many people have a love for Jeff...he's known by many and a friend to all, but for us, he's an amazing husband and father. He's someone that never lets a day go by without it being evident that we are his priority. He makes us laugh. He challenges us to be better and work harder. He walks with the Father so closely that the overflow of that is the love he pours out on you when you are with him. He is never content with being the same, but he is always on a path to being better and stronger! I'm so thankful for how hard he works for us and takes care of us. One day a year is not a long enough celebration of just how we feel to know you, Jeff. You fill our hearts up! We love you!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

A Giveaway for Moms and Their Daughters

This is a great giveaway over at All Access. Check it out if you have daughters!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

We're NOT Professionals...

We are not professional bowlers, but we sure had fun taking all of my girls and my sister's girls bowling on Spring Break w/ my mom.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010


Our Easter 2010 was wonderful! We saw almost 2000 people come out to LifeSong Church for our Easter Egg Drop/Hunt, and then over 700 come back the next day to our Easter services. We are so grateful for the lives we saw changed this Easter. I loved how Jeff said it on Sunday. He said that you won't find us doing any different service at Easter than we strive to do every single Sunday at LifeSong Church. We always want to come together on Sundays and celebrate Jesus resurrection and life because we have Victory! I can tell ya, though...celebrating Sunday was extra special! What a great thing to know that we can reach out to our community in such fun ways and meet their need for great family activities for their families, and see them come on Sunday and meet Jesus. We saw 13 salvations Sunday, and we rejoice in every one of them!The girls had fun this Easter starting off with lots of excitement at our Egg Drop/Hunt. We had so much fun waiting on the plane to fly overhead, dropping tons of eggs out, and off we went to gather them all in our baskets. You can imagine with almost 2000 people there, the eggs were gone like THAT! Even still, candy was to be had, and very dirty faces after!
Easter morning, the girls woke up to a much more "intentional" Easter basket. This year, I felt very strongly that our emphasis needed to be more focused on the life, death and resurrection of Christ rather than filling our baskets with a lot of commercialism. We presented all four of our girls with brand new Bibles. Of course, they got candy, because who doesn't have a smile on their face after a little bit of sugar! Our prayer is that these new Bibles will be a constant reminder of our desire to see our girls walk in victory each day.Easter Sunday afternoon was spent over a yummy Sunday lunch, naps and egg dying and hunting. It was fun spending time together on what could not have been a more gloriously beautiful day!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Catching Up In Pictures

Nicer weather makes for fun times outside!
Our house is for sale...NOT this cutie!

3 of the 4 girls enjoyed a day at the park

A Dinner Party

The HOST of the Dinner Party

A visit to see Papa and Meme

Loving on Meme after her hospital stay

Sitting in her favorite chair at Meme's and Papa's House

Bailey's chorus concert

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Who Do You Inspire?

I have many people that have inspired, and continue to inspire, me in my life. They may all have different personalities, but the one connecting factor in all of them is that they just are who they are. They are "being today who they want to be tomorrow." In other words, they are just being the real deal, truly living their lives....every part of their lives. The thing that inspires me about them is they are not trying just to show the good parts. They are vulnerable, teachable and willing to start over in order to really become what they are supposed to be in life. I've been told (more than a time or two) that I expose too much of who I am to people...say too much, don't hide my emotions very well or I "might" be a little too honest. For a very long time that has, quite honestly, wounded me. It held me back from being who I am. I cared way too much what people thought about me. At the same time, when you are in the process of being who God wants you to be, you're gonna need to hear some criticism, but ultimately care about the One's comments that matter the most. I am learning that God has made me to be me...not you, or who you think I should be, or even who someone else is that may be WAY cooler than me. I'm to be me!

This has challenged me this week as Jeff began a new series called "Close Encounters," challenging us to have encounter with God for know Him as our Father, but also to realize when the God of heaven and earth is right in the midst of our LIVES! Those unmistakable, undeniable times when it's you and God. We talked about this in our LifeGroup Monday night - "Describe your close encounters, or one of your close encounters with God." This, for me, has come through times of God showing Himself to me through others...the ones that inspire me, but I've had significant times in my life that it's just God and me...the only one that could deliver me from being so low and depressed that I could barely breathe...He reached out to me and drew me close and spoke "peace." Times when the hurt and pain have been so severe that He said, "You're not alone. I'm here." Most significantly, though, is that none of those things would have happened had God not spoken His love for me as a 7 year old little girl...had it not been for me accepting a simple and unconditional promise that He would live in my life forever. As I've heard many stories of close encounters in their salvation as an older teen or adult, I hear such a real desperation in voices to live for Him, that freshness in their love for's just "seemed" more real. I thought a lot about it yesterday, and truly, had it not been for people inspiring and investing in my life, I often wonder if the love I feel for Christ now would not seem so real to me. It made me think of the way inspire kids, my husband, women's lives, our church as I serve as their Pastor's wife, etc. It's heavy the responsibility we have to inspire others, but it's also the very thing that could spur others into their own close encounter with Christ. Don't take for granted that you have no one to inspire. Don't ever deny the fact that if you are His child, you have been inspired to lead others. For me, my husband inspires me as he is just REAL in his relationship with Christ...never living as though he's already "arrived," but doing whatever it takes to move everything in his life in the direction of Christ. My parents have inspired me in the readiness of their hearts to follow Christ wherever He leads them. My sisters inspire me simply by giving my life laughter. My daughters even inspire me as they challenge me to be the mother that they need. My dorm mom from high school inspires me as she prays scripture over my life, and just genuinely loves me for who I am.
Who are you inspiring to have a close encounter with God? Who is inspiring you?

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

What I'm Doing

There's a whole lot going on in my life right now. Before you stop reading because you think this is a post about being busy, never fear...I don't like that word..."busy". It has become too much of a status quo statement maker. The busier we are, the more successful we're supposed to appear. Instead, I'm trying to focus on the little details of my days...the insignificant and the significant. I just want each moment to be LIVED, and not regretted. I want to love well and in turn, love God by loving others. So, here's a little peek into my life TODAY, and if I can be intentional to love through even the most tiny detail, then I'm going to relish it!

What I'm reading: "Crazy Love" by Francis Chan - Really has been the impetus for this post. Lately, it has pinpointed in my life not minimizing the ways I CAN love right now, without all of the excuses that I'm good at making, such as "life is just so mundane/routine," "I never come in contact with other people...other than the grocery store," "How can I make a difference?" Rather, know that God has commanded me to love Him and love others, and by loving others, I am loving Him and desiring more and more of Him when I'm exercising love. It's becoming real to me through the hug I can give, the meal I can prepare for others or even my family, through the kiss I can give my girls in the morning that's not easy for this morning person, or through loving and praying for that difficult person. It's practical. It's real. It's freeing.

My favorite activities: I wrote a post recently on being intentional to spend one on one time with my girls, and the month of January was more special to me just because of this alone! I loved getting to sit with my girls and hear even the smallest detail of their day, or what they are into right now. They always amaze me by sharing their heart. Sometimes I think I know them, but then they surprise me even more.
Date nights are consistently one of my favorite activities. I never get tired of spending time with Jeff. We just get along...plain and simple. I love every bit of time I can spend with him. His heart is the purest! He is just an amazing person to get to know. We laugh, we sit and stare at one another, we enjoy our time! We are beginning to get healthier together and I love being on whatever journey God puts us on right now...together!
I still enjoy reality TV. It just amuses me. I definitely think it's fallen into the "favorite pastime category. Along w/ that, I love keeping in touch with friends through Facebook, Twitter and email. It's really strengthened my friendships, when I keep it in check! ;)

New ventures: I'm all about relationships. They breathe life into me, and lately this aspect of my life has taken a newer, richer turn. I've been able to connect myself with some great wives of Pastor's. These ladies have been such an encouragement, whether it be the ones I've had the pleasure to meet in person, or the ones I know through Facebook, Twitter and blogging. They teach me and enrich my life. I had the honor of meeting with five wives of pastor's last week as a part of the coaching network Jeff has been attending the last six months. It was such an edifying time to hear all God is doing in these ladies' lives to make them the lead pastor's wife that God wants them to be. I really appreciate the words spoken over my life during that time. God has put so many neat people, in general, in my life lately. Their humility, vulnerability and love have all worked to make me a better me!

Deeper callings: In loving well, I continue to know God is challenging me and moving me to a greater place alongside my husband as he leads our church. I LOVE being married to a pastor. Even in the times of figuring out my place of leading others, it's a joy to be a part of seeing lives changed. I am excited to be more intentional as Jeff and I lead together and as was spoken over my life at the coaching network, to "relish my reality." I am excited to move forward in the confidence of my calling to encourage and love, in order to be who God wants ME to be!

I encourage you today to take a look at all areas of your life. Sometimes we don't take the time to realize that we are difference makers, and that our life that never seems to matter much, matters to someone! What are you doing TODAY to love Him well?

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Happy Birthday to Quinn!

haQuinn Olivia is the name we chose for this "unexpected" little blessing three years ago on a chilly February 7th day. It was no surprise to us that we were having our FOURTH daughter...seeing as we pretty much had a winning streak going already! The day the ultrasound tech told us, we pretty much could've told HER! We were familiar with the picture! We were surprised, however, to even be expecting a baby at that point in our lives. Having a fourth child was NO WHERE on our radar...AT ALL!
We were going through one of the darkest times of our lives and feeling very uncertain of our future...very hurt, very frustrated, very confused. Going to the movies with my sister and her girls that day was only supposed to be a girls' day out (my sis has THREE girls!)...not a day to go find out that I was pregnant. I just wanted to be out and have a day to not think about the current state of our life, but something kept nagging at me the whole movie..."I think I'm pregnant. No I'm not. Yes, I am. NO I'M NOT. That is CRAZY!!" My thoughts were later confirmed that day as I took a test and found out that indeed I was pregnant. I was too scared to tell Jeff in person because he was already going through so much. I told him over the phone! I think of his words all the time, especially now on Quinn's birthday...especially now on this side of God's provision and protection - His plans for our life of prospering and not harming - His plans for a future that included a smiley faced, happy little girl that lives life for the fullest. He told me
Celebrate Life

Never did I need to hear two words more...NOT even, as I've learned now, living in the midst of heartache, but more because embracing each day in joy, in trial, in success. I'm thankful for God sending us a precious little 7lb 8oz girl to teach us so much about life. She continues to be a ray of sunshine for her Mommy and Daddy, as well as her sisters. She tackles the day with a lot of fervor, and gets in trouble a whole lot for it, but nonetheless, she does it with a smile on her face.

Here are some special facts about Quinn:
Loves sweets - as with the other girls, I blame this on their Daddy. He always gave 'em that first piece of candy, thus spoiling them for life!

Loves her sisters - she is NEVER fully content until we pick them up from school everyday!

LOVES to sing

LOVES her dogs, Jake and Emmy
Loves her "boyfriend," Aiden

LOVES her "gaggy" - her blanket
Loves outdoors
Loves apples

Loves to run to her Daddy when he gets home everyday (will even tell him to go back to the door if she misses him coming in)

Loves her bed! She calls "Mommy" every morning when she is ready to wake up. I love that time of the day when I hear her call my name.

Quinn has blessed our lives in sooooooo many ways. Our prayer for her is the same it's been for all of our girls...that they would come to know Christ at an early age, and in Quinn's case, that He would use her love of life to touch many, many lives!